| The Schemes of the Devil|
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). Schemes is translated from the Greek word methodeia, from which also the English word method is derived. Other translations for this word are: cunning arts, deceit, craft, and trickery. As Christians we have to expect to be deceived by the devils deception and trickery. It is for this reason that Jesus warned us on numerous occasions about deception, false teachers, false christs, etc. As Christians we dont appear to take these warnings very seriously, judging by the amount of different teachings and denominational doctrines we follow rather than Gods Word.
The opening Scripture from this letter to the Ephesian Church was written by Paul in approx. 60 A.D.; about 60 some years after Jesus taught the Lords Prayer to His disciples. I found it a bit troubling to be accused of starting a new cult by teaching people to pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ. I certainly never said that this should be done because I SAID SO, but because the Bible gives us examples. Cult leaders usually insist that THEY BE FOLLOWED, I believe that I have strongly suggested that we would re-read the Bible and pray: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened (Eph.1:17,18).
I actually went as far as posting this under a separate thread. If I insisted that I wrote the Book of Ephesians you have a point and I would hope that the moderators would shut me down immediately. I asked Greg Gordon permission before I posted my first post. As an aside, cult leaders as a norm dont ask, they push their point. On my own website I dont ask permission, I just explain what I believe the Lord has shown me. If you dont agree, I will NOT be offended, and I have never asked anyone to follow ME. I believe that in the case of SI, I have asked permission and asked you to judge for yourself, you will bring account to God for your own actions; I certainly wont do it for you. I pray for the Church now, but this burden will be lifted when I will be in glory. Hallelujah!
I may be wrong, but if the entire Body of Christ would agree to pray to the Father through Jesus Christ, would we have become a cult? Personally, I have no problem facing my Savior on judgment day and explaining to Him that I took Him and His servant Paul seriously when both He and Paul actually gave us detailed prayers as how to pray. Personally I am very grateful that both Jesus and Paul gave us actual real examples, AND, when we understand what Paul is asking it is mind boggling as powerful as they are. These two prayers in Ephesians are so explicit about what it is that He is asking the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for, that it fills me with awe that God took this man and took him into heaven (physically or by vision) and that Jesus personally instructed him: For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal.1:12) and, I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven (2Cor.12:2)
Before I close this post and write the next one, I want to address one more thing that jimbob raised about John 14
Hans, sorry but Jesus did give us permission to ask HIM in prayer,"Whatever you ask in my name, that will I DO, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask ME anything in MY name, I WILL DO IT."John 14:13&14.
It looks like you went on my site. Did you read this page?
The KJV and the NKJV dont translate this verse the same way as other translations. I will add to this page, because there are still more considerations that may play a role in the correct understanding of this Scripture. I would not hang my prayer life based on this contested Scripture. I do appreciate your challenge very much and thank God that He has allowed this.
Bless you brother.
| 2005/10/18 16:50||Profile|
| Re: The Schemes of the Devil|
I also do not hang my prayer life on that scripture, nor do I pray to anyone but the Father, by the authority of the shed blood of Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I did challenge you! The dogmatic proclamations on your website warrant a challenge!
What I would like to know is this, did you challenge yourself before you began the website? What I mean is did you pray to the Father to remove any vain imaginings and any self aggrandizing fantasies that have followed your dreams and revelations?
Do you know for a fact that the Father wills you to do your website? If we don't follow HIS WILL our efforts will not produce fruit will they? Why do you suppose the Father led you to discuss these things with (Wilkerson?)only to have the door closed? In fact you have had many doors closed,are you SURE this is Gods message for the end times and YOU are called to be His messenger?
I'm not trying to be funny here, but do you see yourself as Elijah, come to restore all things before the return of the Lord?
I am sure these questions sound mean spirited, and they are not meant to be, but the gravity of your claims does warrant serious testing,and if found true then they will be brought to light and heard by those who are waiting to hear.
I will be praying for you, pray for me also, Bob.
| 2005/10/18 18:04||Profile|
| Re: The Schemes of the Devil|
This is plainly prayer to "Jesus'And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59-60, KJVS)
| 2005/10/18 19:09||Profile|
What I mean is did you pray to the Father to remove any vain imaginings and any self aggrandizing fantasies that have followed your dreams and revelations?
:-) I think I'll use that!
| 2005/10/18 19:31||Profile|
| Re: The Schemes of the Devil|
Dear Brother Bob,
Edit: No, I don't think I am Elijah.
I cannot explain everything I have sought my Father about, since I have been seeking and confirming several words and dreams since September 2000. I dont know why the door was closed w.r.t. David Wilkerson, I trust that God had His reasons. I am taking this more seriously than you may realize and will be open with you and share the prayer I pray regularly and even tonight, before I read your post and started writing this response:
Dear Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that You will not use me to be a part of the deception that is on the Church of Jesus Christ. I pray that You will allow dialogue and the opportunity to share with everyone who is willing to study Your Word. Please, let me not lead anyone astray, if I offend anyone of Your children, please shut me down, if need be take my life. The Church is Your reward for Your Son Jesus Christ, and Father I want You to have all the glory and please dont allow me to offend You or Your Son, or sin against the Holy Spirit. Father, this is the Bride of Your Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please have mercy on the Church that She will see what it is You have declared in Your Word, through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord and Savior, Amen.
Just while I am writing this I prayed it again with my wife, agreeing in the Name of Jesus, knowing that He is in our midst. Dear Bob, the last thing I want to do is to blow my own horn. I have given my life to my Lord, and if anyone wants the glory, take it. My reward is in being allowed to lift high the Name of Jesus to the glory of God the Father.
I have prayed for you earlier after I read your post and will continue to do so. I thank you for praying for me as well. God bless you Bob.
| 2005/10/18 19:32||Profile|
| Just a thought|
I have read , as many of you all have , probably thousands of words on prayer , including the great prayer examples of the bible. But I think it goes beyond a formula or method.(I do use the prayers of the bible however). As deep speaks unto deep.....I believe prayer comes from the deep recesses of our being where we have come to rest in what and who Jesus is and we approach GOD in all His fullness fully trusting in Jesus and we make known all before His glorious presence.
I say that because I have dear brothers who don't consider a pray as such unless it's pre-fixed by "In Jesus' name" , and while I understand thier actions here , sometimes it cheapens the very prayer to the very God it was intended to touch. :-(
| 2005/10/18 19:47||Profile|
| Re: The Schemes of the Devil|
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
This is the introduction of the enemy of the Church of Jesus Christ. The very first thing he does is question if Eve had heard it correctly. Was she really sure? This is the very first thing we have to remember about the devil, he will cause us to question God and His word. The response of Eve gives us another clue: she adds to the commandment of God and responds that she and Adam were not allowed to touch the tree. What is the lesson? Stick to Gods commandments and dont reason with the devil. Why? Just as we understood from the Greek word for schemes [methodeia = cunning arts, deceit, craft, and trickery] in the first post, do we see here that the serpent was more subtil = shrewd, crafty, sly, etc.
When we study the temptation of Jesus by the devil in Luke 4:1-13, the devil quotes Scriptures to Jesus. All that Jesus does is respond to the quotations of the devil with three quotes from Deuteronomy. He didnt reason with the devil; He didnt question him; He didnt rebuke him, He just quoted Scripture. Is there anything in this account of the temptation from which we can learn? We saw that Eve added to Gods commandment and fell into sin. Jesus didnt add a thing; He just quoted three direct references from Deuteronomy, and the devil left.
I quoted Ephesians 6:11 in the first post. Let us now consider Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Here comes that word FINALLY. Paul is coming to the conclusion of the letter to the Ephesian Church. He has shared a lot of information about who we are in Christ, Ch.1:3-14; how we are changed from dead in sin, to alive in Christ, and made one body as Gentiles with the Jews, Ch.2:1-22; then he explains the revelation of the mystery that has to be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm THROUGH the Church, Ch.3:1-13; Paul follows this with an exhortation to unity, explaining that Christ gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to the Church, to equip and build up so as to attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God;
I break this with the question that Jesus expressed in Luke 18:8: nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? The NASB gives a footnote which reads: The faith. The unity of The faith, which the entire Body of Christ is called to achieve. The same unity He prayed and asked the Father for in John 17:23. Why would Jesus even waste His breath, if this question wasnt valid?
This entire letter to the Ephesian Church is a blueprint to Stand Firm Against the Schemes of The Devil. Paul explained in detail our position as Christians in Christ. There is however something in this letter that addresses being filled with the Spirit. This is the critical part the Church needs in order to Stand Firm. If we take away from this; if we attempt to question Who the Father is, Who Christ is, Who the Holy Spirit is, and dont even bother to pray for understanding of the Revelation Paul prays for, the Church will not understand who She is and what Her position in Christ is. She will not be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
From the early beginning of the Church, questions were raised about the Trinity. Where these questions initiated by God and given to the Church to examine under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or was someone attempting to cause division? Paul was taught by Jesus Christ, surely he must have known what he did when he wrote the prayers in Ephesians 1:15-23 and Ephesians 3:14-21. Would he have misunderstood what Jesus taught him?
Brothers and Sisters, I know that I make some strong statements. The reason that I believe I was given two names, is because I asked our Father to allow me to speak to someone who would have credibility. If I wanted glory, I would have carefully guarded this as my own. Who would I be kidding, Gods Word as my own?
If Jesus found it necessary to quote straight Scripture references and the devil walked, why would we consider praying in a certain way, a formula? If the Church of Jesus Christ was united in Her understanding and teaching of the knowledge of the Son of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I wouldnt be sitting here. I would be lying on the beach somewhere with my feet up, enjoying my retirement. Brother Bob, I love traveling. I traveled all over this globe from the age of twenty till I retired (lost my job) at the age of 57. If I wanted aggrandizement, fame, or just making a name for myself, I can think of at least 10 other things I could be doing right now. Yet, I thank my God that I am allowed to serve Him, because He is the One who gives me His Joy, and I wouldnt have it any other way. I have to confess it took me a few years to get to this point.
In the next post I will continue with the book of Ephesians.
| 2005/10/18 21:17||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59-60, KJVS)
Had asked about this elsewhere as well.
Remember, you did say something to the effect of "I don't see how anyone could (would?)ask Jesus or the Holy Spirit for anything".
Nothing critical in intent, just trying to understand why you feel so adamant about this.
| 2005/10/19 0:32||Profile|
| Re: The Schemes of the Devil|
I am not adamant about this by reason of logic. I believe it more to be what is inside of me. I will leave it for SI to test it. I am preparing the next post for this thread, and I hope to have it posted before tonight. I only pray that you will ask the Lord for wisdom, as I am sure you are.
God bless you,
| 2005/10/19 9:42||Profile|
In response still to your insistence that all prayer be to the Father alone, I wonder if you have considered Christian hymns which are often just 'prayers' with music... Your ban would eliminate hundreds of traditional hymns. The following one is just one of hundreds by Wesley alone.O Thou Who camest from above,
The pure celestial fire to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
Upon the mean altar of my heart.
There let it for Thy glory burn
With inextinguishable blaze,
[or, Unquenched, undimmed, in darkest days,]
And trembling to its source return,
In humble prayer and fervent praise.
Jesus, confirm my hearts desire
To work and speak and think for Thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire,
And still stir up Thy gift in me.
Ready for all Thy perfect will,
My acts of faith and love repeat,
Till death Thy endless mercies seal,
And make my sacrifice complete.This is very clearly prayer to 'Jesus', while this one is plainly addressed to the Holy Spirit.Come, Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire,
Let us Thine influence prove:
Source of the old prophetic fire,
Fountain of life and love.
Come, Holy Ghost, for moved by Thee
The prophets wrote and spoke;
Unlock the truth, Thyself the key,
Unseal the sacred book.
Expand Thy wings, celestial Dove,
Brood oer our natures night;
On our disordered spirits move,
And let there now be light.
God, through Himself, we then shall know
If Thou within us shine,
And sound with all Thy saints below,
The depths of love divine.
"Another important source of evidence about Jesus and early Christianity can be found in the letters of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan. Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. In one of his letters, dated around A.D. 112, he asks Trajan's advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians. Pliny says that he needed to consult the emperor about this issue because a great multitude of every age, class, and sex stood accused of Christianity.
At one point in his letter, Pliny relates some of the information he has learned about these Christians:
They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when [u]they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god[/u], and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind. It would seem to be the consistent evidence of history that Christians from Stephen onwards have prayed (and sung) to 'Jesus'.
| 2005/10/19 10:45||Profile|